LeVar Burton hemorrhages Twitter followers over Philip Seymour Hoffman jokes

Swimming upstream on social media proves all but impossible.

Mar 2, 2020, 9:23 am*

Internet Culture


Miles Klee

If you’re a beloved celebrity with some two million followers on Twitter, you can probably leave the tacky jokes to its formidable army of assorted trolls. But since Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton hasn’t hired me as a social media intern, he waded into the discussion of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely death and said some things that would inevitably call for a retraction.

After that comment earned him the wrath of the mourning mob, with followers deserting in droves, Burton got defensive.

Eventually, he did apologize, if only to move on with his life.

More than one actor dared to stray from the pre-approved consensus about Hoffman dying from an apparent heroin overdose. Supernatural star Jared Padalecki tweeted that “‘Sad’ isn’t the word I’d use to describe a 46-year-old man throwing his life away to drugs. ‘Senseless’ is more like it. ‘Stupid.’” He deleted that comment but otherwise stood his ground:

I don’t know, Jared—pretty sure there was something in the paper about Hoffman, too. We call those “obituaries.”

H/T Atlanta Daily World | Photo startrek.com

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*First Published: Feb 4, 2014, 6:45 pm